Friday, June 13, 2008

Something to think about

Post details:
• Global gas Graphic in Virginian-Pilot
• Europeans pay a LOT more at the pump because of taxes


On Tuesday’s front page (6/10), The Virginian-Pilot published an enlightening graphic about gas prices around the world, based on Associated Press statistics from May 30. The AP article written by Angela Charlton in Paris featured the stats and discussed the main reasons for the vast differences: taxes and subsidies.

Surprisingly, the price at the pump varies greatly— “from Venezuela, where gas is cheaper than water [at 12 cents!], to Turkey, where a full tank can cost more than a domestic plane ticket [at $11.29!!],” stated the article.

Venezuela and China have no tax on gasoline; and there may be extremely high taxes in Europe and Japan but those prices do not take consumers on a roller coaster as much so as we have seen in the United States. While the prices there are still high and painful, the strong euro is helping somewhat, along with the fact that less expensive mass transit is more widespread – something I benefited from while abroad in France last fall.

"The pain of a rise in prices is much less in Europe, because we may be paying a lot more here, but the rise in a percentage sense is a lot smaller," Julius Walker, oil analyst at the Paris-based International Energy Agency, told the AP.

Some other stats from the AP article:
There are now 887 million vehicles in the world, up from 553 million vehicles just 15 years ago, and on track to nearly double to a billion by 2012, according to London-based consultancy Global Insight.

Something to chew over: the U.S. may not have the highest gas prices in the world, but it’s still hard to swallow.

Have a great weekend.

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